What is a Locally Grown Project?

“an exercise usually involving study and/or experimentation followed by the construction of something” — The Chambers Dictionary

This succinctly describes how locally grown cities evolve.

Berlin's Palace Disappearing

When creating a locally grown project, people react to a perceived need with a personal vision. As the project evolves, it develops in response to the economic and social context. Ideas are tested in urban spaces, and refined. This feedback loop helps focus the project more rapidly and effectively, and reduces initial investment costs. Because these projects are mostly run on shoe string budgets, their solutions are often groundbreaking.

This blog examines specific examples in Berlin. It describes the nuts and bolts of projects that have interacted with urban development to create an inspiring city. It explores the intersection of culture, entrepreneurship and architecture and sets this out in a piecemeal manner, which is also how the projects themselves thrive.

We will focus on projects that create unique identity in a place, be it a small corner or a whole region. We will research the practical questions that are often glossed over.

Some projects transform existing buildings; for others buildings are created from scratch; in either case we will study the symbiotic relationship between a project and its built shell. We want to find out how the kind of innovation that drives these projects informs architecture.

We will also focus on the people behind the projects who are actively re-defining their city; some work on their own, others in large groups. Their goals are sometimes focused on one night, or measured out over decades. The simple fact that they exist enriches our lives. It is one of the many reasons we have chosen to live in Berlin.

The architectural profession has painted itself into a corner. We have been silently demoted to ’façade decorators‘. This blog is one small step towards helping to re-invent our profession through the study of grass root innovators. It is also a step towards making Berlin a better place by inspiring more people to create their own projects, and giving them some helpful tools to do it.

This blog aims to inspire you to engage yourself with your city

Do It Yourself-International Building Exhibition

In Berlin, the planned city is being complemented by a city of initiatives, a city where urban innovation is driven by a dynamic biosphere of artists, activists and entrepreneurs. Berliners are creating their city.

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